The Croatian Diaspora

Croatian-Australian Painter Donates Works to Rijeka Museum to Start Diaspora Collection

By 27 May 2018

The Australian painter of Croatian origin was born in Istria.

Gina Sinozich, the 88-year-old Australian painter of Croatian origin, donated 24 of her works to the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral (PPHMP) in Rijeka. This will be the beginning of the museum’s Diaspora Collection, it was announced at a ceremony in the museum, reports Večernji List on May 27, 2018.

Gina Sinozich left the village of Paroni near Šušnjevica in Istria with her husband and two children, first to Italy, and then in 1957, they went to Australia. She painted her first work at the age of 70 and almost immediately became prominent in art circles. For the Australian National Maritime Museum, she completed a series of 14 paintings depicting her voyage from Istria to Australia. Her pictures are part of the permanent exhibition of the National Gallery in Canberra, the Liverpool Museum in Sydney, the Casula Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, the National Maritime Museum in Sydney and numerous private collections in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Europe.

Her central motifs are, apart from personal memories, Australia, landscapes, flowers and vivid abstract works.

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Museum director Tea Perinčić said that Sinozich first exhibited in Rijeka several years ago when the initial contact with the museum was established. “She called me a few months ago and offered her paintings as a donation. Initially, we talked about 15 paintings, but the collection, which represents the cross-section of her oeuvre, has grown to 24 painting,” Perinčić said.

Sinozich thanked the museum for the hospitality and the welcoming ceremony, suggesting that more works could be donated in the future.

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Speaker of the Assembly of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Erik Fabijanić thanked the painter for the donation, saying that the region had been marked by emigration through the centuries. “Every departure is a trauma, but we are especially glad when part of what the emigrants have created returns here.”

Australia's Ambassador to Croatia Elizabeth Petrovic pointed out that Gina Sinozich was a great example of Australian immigrants who represent the cultural treasure of the country. “She has completely accepted her new country, but did not forget where she came from,,” said the ambassador.

Translated from Večernji List.